Friday, March 23, 2007
Lower Sproul Fee
Next is Josh Daniels' baby, Lower Sproul.
Apparently, I was mistaken before. The 4-year fee schedule is $9, $9, $12, $15. So the fee increases don't start until later, to make it more pleasant for current voters. Officially, it's "To achieve an adequate level of revenue over the four-year period while simplifying the Fee amount for ease of calculating financial aid and fee remissions." The previous fee increase, authored by the same folks, will cost $14.71 in 2011-12, so judge how important you think simplificiation is to these people.
A mandatory student Fee of $9.00 per semester (beginning fall 2007 and continuing for four years, with annual increases of $3.00 in the third and fourth years; see the ASUC Voters Guide) is proposed to support the planning and design of as well as the fundraising for the redevelopment of the Student Union complex, and to allow the Fee to be incorporated in student financial aid need assessments; the implementation of this Fee is contingent on the University's active partnership with students on the redevelopment. Do you approve of this Fee?Oh, look, semicolons! I imagine the previous fee increase's three sentence ballot question was just erroneous in the minutes.
Again, note that the financial aid argument is included.
Also note that there is nothing on the ballot explaining that there is no guarantee or even agreement that the University will support this, or that the money will go towards anything. See below for more.
Students could get things done politically through organizing people, or through money. Speaking as GA President, he didn't believe he could organize the number of grad students necessary, given their schedules and disbursed nature on campus, to care about the creation of a graduate center on the campus such that they would spend a week in front of California Hall in order to ensure that the Chancellor listened to them. If he could do that, he wouldn't ask for the students to tax themselves one cent. If students were unwilling to do that, the only way to guarantee that the student voice was heard was through money.Um... wouldn't an alternative interpretation of being unable to organize the folks necessary because they don't care enough be that they don't care enough, and don't support this? If students are unwilling to work for it, apparently the only way to guarantee that their voice, which they aren't willing to express, is heard is by forcing them to pay money so that those incapable organizers can just spend other people's money, rather than actually working for their goal.
If they compare the total amount of campus-based fees with just the increase in the Ed Fee for grad students, the increase for grads per year would be more than they'd pay for the entire campus-based fees. So affordability on campus had very little to do with small, incremental changes made on campus-based fees, much less than the Regents' decisions.Yep. Five hundred small, incremental changes of $10 each would have nothing to do with affordability at all, either. It's interesting to use the fact that fees have gone up a lot as justification for increasing them even more.
Van Nguyen has opposed this fee increase, because he feels it's the responsibility of the university. That's the point, of course: The university tells the ASUC executives to pass fees for it, and most folks say "We're on it, Mr. Chancellor." It's good to see Van standing up for students for a change, so we can add this to my previous endorsement, which was based on his maleness.
By the way, one thing to make clear is that this is a gamble. Josh Daniels wants the students to put money forward in the hopes that the University goes ahead and does something. There's no actual agreement that any such collaboration will happen. But both the ASUC Senate and the GA would have to agree that the collaboration has not happened in order to stop collecting the fee, and we all know that just isn't going to happen. The University will likely stall and divert, and the ASUC tools will swallow it like they always do.
Dimitri Garcia, of all people, is also opposed to this and makes a good argument:
There was no guarantee regarding redevelopment to blindly assume putting money would result in that redevelopment, or that the Administration wouldn't impose its power. To assume that would not be too pessimistic of students. He believed students were already at the negotiating table. They already had a substantial amount of fees going towards safety, and he didn't think they should self-impose this fee, especially when they don't have guarantees from the Administration.Again, the status of students already at the negotiating table is clear here. They've had input, as required by University policy. And even at that table, the University essentially said "No" when offered this plan (of students paying money to get commitments from the University). So Josh Daniels thinks that if the ASUC goes ahead with this, the University will say "Yes," despite the fact that nothing will have changed besides the ASUC's negotiating position becoming worse, since the fee would already have been assessed.
Even Yvette Felarca joins in. This is going to be the great Beetle-DAAP agreement, which will never happen again.
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